Monday, August 17, 2009
In Tanzania, education is highly regarded. There are no fees to attend primary school, but a uniform is required. A uniform costs approximately $30. The average monthly income is about $40. For many families the cost of a uniform is difficult at best, and often beyond their capacity. Now throw in the dilemma of orphans. There is no orphanage in the Livingston Mountains. Orphans are taken in by extended family, neighbors, friends or looked after by older siblings. The extra burden of caring for orphans, as well as supplying them with a school uniform is a luxury most will never see.
Above is Rachael, 11 years old, and Giveness who is 9. They are orphans being looked after by a young uncle, his girlfriend and their two young children. The uncle shared his difficulties with me in July. He has no job. He has thought about leaving the mountains and going into the city to look for work, but that leaves the orphans totally alone. The home had no beds, one chair and one couch. He knows he is not providing as he should. He is depressed and he drinks. He shared he drinks in the morning, afternoon and evening. We explained that One Small Drop is working on a way to provide uniforms to orphans. His eyes became bright and he suggested that, if possible, to provide Rachael a uniform and she may be able to come home and teach Giveness what she learns.
Kandete has developed a system for identifying the orphans in their community. They have recorded the number of orphans (69), ages, if they have one or no parents, who they are living with, what grade they would be in school, etc. This system will be used as a model for the other 3 communities One Small Drop is working with.
One Small Drop has set up orphan uniform sponsorships. We will also collaborate with school classrooms, Sunday School classes, youth groups, 4-H, Scouts, and other interested groups to participate. If interested in assisting, uniform sponsorship is $30. If you have a group interested in participating e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Last year I met Niku. Niku has been singled out at school because of her exceptional grades. They recommended she go to nursing school. But Niku's father had recently died of HIV/AIDS, and her mother just found out she also has AIDS. Medication is very expensive. Her mother is using the father's leftover meds. Due to these circumstances, her family could not afford to send Niku to nursing school.
The entire two year nursing program cost $600.
Two weeks ago One Small Drop was able to present Niku with a full scholarship. Niku and her mother were filled with joy and appreciation. They hardly had words to express their gratitude.
Niku will begin school August 31, 2009 at Njombe Nursing School. This school is several hours from home. The $600 covers room, board, school supplies and education. She is excited to keep us abreast of her progress!